Richard Lee “Dick” Brokaw

May 19, 1934 ‒ March 12, 2020

Bellville, Ohio

Richard Lee “Dick” Brokaw

Bellville: Richard Lee “Dick” Brokaw passed away Thursday morning, March 12, 2020 in his home surrounded by his devoted family.

He was born May 19, 1934 to Cecil Raymond and Bessie Mabel (Poorman) Brokaw, on the Poorman farm, just three miles west of Bellville.

A 1952 graduate of Bellville High School, Dick played varsity football, basketball and ran track.  Beginning in 1951, Dick took his love for sports to the next level announcing varsity football games for the Bellville Blue Jays and later the Clear Fork Colts.  He was known as “the voice of the Colts” for over two decades.

It was during high school that a particular cheerleader caught his eye, though its been debated that the fact that her father had the first television in Bellville had something to do with that.  On November 15, 1953, he married Ruth Arlene Coe with whom he celebrated 66 years, and never had a dull moment raising their three sons and daughter.

Dick Brokaw was a hard worker, instilling in his family a strong work ethic and the value of a hard days work.  He helped his parents on the family farm, and worked the night shift on the B&O Railroad taking tickets.  During this time, he also drove the school bus for Clear Fork and retired from the district as Supervisor of Buses.  Never working just one job, Dick also served as a substitute mail carrier, and most everyone in the valley will remember him from his 38 year tenure as the owner and operator of Dick’s Sohio in Bellville.

He was a 65 year member and volunteer of the Jefferson Township-Bellville Fire Department, a social member of American Legion Post #535, a 50 year member of Knights of Pythias Lodge and a lifelong member of St. Paul Lutheran Church.

He enjoyed golfing with leagues at Pleasant Hill and Little Apple, he was quite a treat especially at chipping and putting.  Its well known that a Birdie shot in his presence required a celebratory shot.  He also enjoyed hunting and time spent in the woods searching for “mush-a-rooms.” He did woodworking, liked swimming and spent countless vacations with his family camping.

It may seem like a coincidence that all sporting events were canceled the day Dick passed, but meaningful all the same as Dick was a huge sports fan.  He rooted for Duke watching his last basketball game Saturday, and bled scarlet and gray for The Ohio State Buckeyes.  He was a constant supporter of his kids, grandkids and great grandkids sporting events, and was often seen in the crowd cheering on his Colts.

Dick is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Ruth “Ruthy” Brokaw of Bellville, four children and their spouses Jeffrey & Candace Brokaw of Mansfield, Joel & Anne Brokaw of Bellville, Jay Brokaw of Bellville, and Jill & Jeff Schaefer of Bellville; nine grandchildren Jeffrey Brokaw, II, Aaron & Lindsey Brokaw, Adam & Karla Brokaw, Andrew “Jiggy” Brokaw, Abby Brokaw, Jessica Brokaw, Jennifer & Mark Porter, Jenna & Derek Cole and Jared Schaefer; eight great grandchildren Brynlee, Brooklyn, & Blakely Brokaw, Jacob & Jada Brokaw, Bryce Smith, Kaleb & Jayna Porter & many great-grand dogs; siblings Rosalie Brokaw, Ron & Regina Brokaw and Russell & Sue Brokaw along with several nieces & nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his in-laws: Carl & Evelyn Coe; siblings Raymond & Mary Brokaw and Ruth & Les Brubaker; daughter-in-law Debbie Henry; brother-in-law Carl J. Coe; and nephews Dan Brokaw and Steve Coe.

Friends may call Sunday, March 15, 2020 from 2-6 pm in the Bellville Snyder Funeral Home where the funeral service honoring the life of Richard L. Brokaw will be held Monday at 11 am.  Richard Brenneman will speak, and the Jefferson Township-Bellville Fire Department will escort Dick to his place of rest in Bellville Cemetery.

Memorial donations to Jefferson Township-Bellville Fire and Rescue or St. Paul Lutheran Church may be made at the funeral home.

Messages of condolence are encouraged


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  • Ruth and family I have known the Brokaw family for a number of years and they have a special place in my heart. I remember when Dick drove my school bus and seemed to always have a joke to tell . I am blessed to have known him and the entire family. Janet Schulte

  • I offer my sympathy and prayers for piece and comfort to Ruthie as well as Dick’s big and special family.
    Judy Coppersmith and John, too.

  • Jay and Jill we our sending our thoughts and Prayers to your entire family

  • Ruthy and family so sorry for your loss. Dick was one of the valley’s biggest supporters.
    I’m at Myrtle Beach right now and have many memories of or golf trips over the years in his motor home. Everyone always had a fun trip as long as Dick was involved. An especially memorable evening at Slugs Rib when Dick accidentally flipped his drink straw across the room onto some ladies prime rib. Much to her and Dick’s surprise. That was 1976. Not many of us left from that first trip to the beach. Too many memories for this short space.
    You and the family are in my thoughts prayers.

  • Ruth,Joel,Jeff,Jay,and Jill,and all your family. You have my deepest sympathy. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Dear Ruthy and family,

    So sorry to hear of Dicks passing. Sending my thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

  • Richard was a fine man. He left a lasting impression on my life. Also on my backside when I was a little jerk on the bus lol.

  • Always enjoyed him. I know Carmon played against him in football, so Dick came into our lives many years ago. And, Carmon talked about how good a player he was. Many hugs and prayers for the family. He was a great person to know.

  • To the Brokaw family,
    I am so very sorry for your loss. He was my bus driver while I attended school K-12. He was unforgettable. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. May God give you peace through this difficult time.

  • So sorry for your loss. when my Dad passed I bet everyone thought Dick and I lost it because we stood by Dad’s casket laughing and crying talking about things him and Dad did. Our family always thought a lot of him and he will be missed by you and many people.

  • So Blessed to have grown up with Dick as an Uncle. Always thought of him as my John Wayne. A heart of gold, a dash of ornerines, and always that great humor! So many wonderful memories. So many stories. RIP

  • Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Remembering the great times with Dick. I appreciated Dick always keeping both eyes on the southside!

  • Dear Brokaw Family,
    I am sorrow for your loss. My prayers and sympathies are extended to you all. Ruth, I send you a hug.

  • Sorry to hear of Dick’s death. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. God’s special blessing on you at this very sad time.

  • Ruthy & family. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Dick was like a big brother to me while driving the bus under him. I have enjoyed all of your family and knowing them Prayers & Hugs to all of the family.

  • I’m so sorry to hear of Mr Brokaws passing. He always made time to help me fix my bicycle and later my cars. He was such a great fixture in the valley. He will be greatly missed.
    My deepest sympathy to the whole family.
    Rick Turner

  • Bob McConkie and Paul Snyder says-
    Our sincere condolences to Ruth and the entire Brokaw family.
    We always commented with Dick as to how there was only
    four guys living from our Bellville High School Class of 1952.
    Now just three…. ” Bon Voyage Dick’

  • Long before THE VOICE was a popular tv show designed to recognize the “best voice,”
    every COLTS’ football fan knew who their winner was…DICK BROKAW! Friday night football games on the Bellville field was the stage for many memorable games, teams and athletes both Blue Jays and Colts. The VOICE made many memories for the fans and on occasion some are still discussed today. Yes, Dick really got into his announcing. He was as much a part of the game as the marching band, cheerleaders and referees(his mic was occasionally left on when a comment about certain calls could be heard over the PA.

    He(and Ruthy) contributed to many booster/school projects for decades. They also contributed children who were gifted players and as adults were outstanding coaches.
    Dick Brokaw served our schools well and is recognized as one of the foundation blocks of what we all proudly call Clear Fork Pride.
    ****Did the know the mic was on or was it inadvertent??????

  • My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time 🙏❤️

  • Ruthie and family Tom and I were so sorry to hear about Dick and our thoughts and prayers are with all of you so sorry we can’t be there with you during this difficult time stay strong we feel your pain

  • Ruthie and family Tom and I were so sorry to hear about Dick so sorry we can’t be there to support you in this difficult time we fell your pain just wanted to let you know we are thinking of you

  • Ruthie and your Entire family, we send our heartfelt condolences to all of you. Keep all of those great memories close to your heart and he will be with you forever. He was one great friend with a great personality. God be with all of you.

  • Our condolences to Ruth and all her family. We have good
    memories of our children in school together.
    Our caring thoughts and pr;ayers.

  • Thoughts and prayers for all of your family during this difficult time. I am sure you will have many memories and stories to reflect on. May you find comfort in knowing that Dick had touched so many people.

  • Dear Ruth and family:
    I won’t be able to come to calling hours or the funeral, but I send my love and prayers.

  • Ruthy Jeff Joel Jay and Jill families.
    Sorry to hear about Dick he always had a place in my heart thru the years. God took a good ornery man home. Lots of hugs and prayers thinking of you all. I’m out of town till 26. Sorry I could not be with you all. God Bless.

    Love Malinda worner

  • Our deepest condolences in your entire family’s loss.
    Bill has many great memories of Dick and playing ball with his boys.
    May you feel God’s comfort and peace in the midst of your sorrow.
    Lifting you in prayer.

  • Thinking of all of you today! . I will miss the scariest bus driver of my young life (hahaha) and a treasured and valued friend of my adulthood. Love and prayers and hugs to all of you.

  • So sorry to hear of Dick’s passing. So many memories. Clear Fork lost one of it’s greatest supporters. My deepest sympathies to all of you.

  • Brokaw Family we are sorry for your loss, Mr. Brokaw was a great bus driver…he was a great roll model, he kept everyone safe to and from school. He was a great guy! You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Ruthy and family, my deepest sympathy to you all.
    I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to the calling hours but I did just watch the video and it was a great tribute to a special man And a wonderful family.Love to you all.

  • Jill and all of you,
    Dick was a friend and supporter of the Clear Fork community and will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Ruthie and family…I am so sorry for your loss. Sending prayers. Dick was a very nice man.

  • We are so very sorry for your loss. Dick was our bus driver for many years
    and he could not have been more kind to all of us. We deeply respected him.

    Clyde Porter and family

  • Ruthy, Jeff, Joel, Jay & Jill…
    Thinking of you during your difficult time. I lived in town but would ride his bus to my friends homes, much to my mother’s chagrin. Dick would tell Mom where I was… thankfully.
    Knew him as a man of the town. Always there to help and support the families of Bellville. A well loved heart, full of fun at the card club parties too. We are blessed having known him.

  • I just learned of Dick’s passing last night when talking on the phone to Sharon Hollar Dick was the only bus driver I ever had starting when we moved to Bellville at 7th grade until graduation. He was always concerned about the safety of his students. He did expect you to behave but he was always fair and maybe more patient than he should have been. Thankfully I was never on the receiving end when his patience was exhausted. So sorry for your loss.